China only wants piece…piece of Taiwan, piece of U.S…
by Bill Gertz
The Pentagon's forthcoming annual report on Chinese military power will reveal a growing threat from Beijing's new forms of power projection, including anti-satellite weapons and computer network attack forces.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday that the report, scheduled for release today, shows how China "has steadily devoted increasing resources to their military."
According to defense officials familiar with the report, it also highlights new strategic missile developments, including China's five new Jin-class submarines, and states that Beijing continues to hide the true level of its military spending…
The officials also said that the report will detail how China is developing two new types of strategic forces that go beyond what nations have done traditionally using air, sea and land forces by aiming to knock out modern communications methods on which the U.S. military relies for advanced warfighting techniques.
First, U.S. intelligence officials estimate that by 2010 China's ASAT missiles will be capable of delivering a knockout blow to many U.S. military satellites. Second, China also is training large numbers of military computer hackers to deliver crippling electronic attacks on U.S. military and civilian computer networks.
Mr. Gates described this year's report as an honest assessment devoid of "arm-waving" and said, "I don't think it does any exaggeration of the threat."
"But it paints a picture of a country that is devoting substantial resources to the military and developing … some very sophisticated capabilities."
Still, the Pentagon chief said keeping threats in perspective is made harder by China's lack of openness and Beijing's communist leaders refusing to talk enough about "what their intentions are, what their strategies are."
"It would be nice to hear firsthand from the Chinese how they view some of these things," he said.
Asked about China's double-digit percent increases in defense spending for more than a decade and advancing weapon technology, Mr. Gates said: "I think some of the capabilities that are being developed are of concern, sure."
China's buildup also appears directed at deploying forces that can be used beyond a regional conflict over Taiwan, which in the past was thought by U.S. officials to be the main objective of China's military modernization.
For example, the report identifies the five new missile submarines, known as the Jin-class, that will each be outfitted with 12 5,000-mile-range JL-2 missiles, vastly improving China's nuclear missile strike capabilities. The new submarines are considered a significant new power projection capability that China did not have from its lone earlier ballistic missile submarine, which stayed in port and did not sail to open ocean.
"Go to Original" links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted on VT may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the "Go to Original" links.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. VT has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is VT endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)